Putting callers on hold - telephone etiquette training

There are many reasons why you may need to put a caller on hold as it’s not always possible in today’s busy work climate to be able to locate the correct person or find the information the caller needs immediately. Being placed on hold tends to be a frustrating and unproductive time for most callers so handling this situation with care is extremely important. Following a few simple practices before putting a caller on hold will help ensure your caller remains on the line and feels informed at all times:

  • Before you put a caller on hold, always ask for permission and wait for the customer to answer you. Most customers will answer “yes” if asked politely to hold. If options other than holding exist, such as leaving a message, voice mail or finding information on the internet, let the caller know at this time.
  • Check back with caller periodically so the customer knows you are still working on the problem and haven’t forgotten them.
  • When you return to a customer who is on hold, always thank them for their patience and then provide them with the information they requested or if necessary transfer them to someone who can help them.

Put a Call on Hold Right Away:

Always greet the caller politely first with your company standard greeting (i.e. “Thank you for calling officeskills.org. This is Betty Brown. How may I help you?”). Pause and wait for an answer before telling them you are going to put them on hold. Explain the reason for putting them on hold and tell them you will return to their call in a minute. Apologize for the inconvenience or thank the caller for holding when you return to the caller

Put a Caller on Hold to Wait for a Person

Caller: “I’d like to speak with Ms. Bunting please”

Representative Option 1: “Ms. Bunting is not available right now. Would you like to hold?”

Representative Option 2: “Ms. Bunting is not available right now. Would you like her to call you back by the end of day today?”

Put a Caller on Hold to Find Information

Caller: I am interested in paying off my account balance. Can you tell me what it is?

Representative Option 1: “Absolutely! Are you able to hold while I pull up your information on the computer?”

$49.99 Professional Telephone Etiquette E-Learning Module

Telephone Etiquette Training

In our Professional Telephone Etiquette e-learning module, you’ll learn basic telephone etiquette skills including learning how manage the call from beginning to end including professionally greeting the caller, building rapport during the call, expressing empathy when needed, showing appreciation to the customer for calling and ending the call in a professional manner. You’ll learn how to Master Basic Telephone Skills including how to answer the telephone professionally and enthusiastically, how to transfer calls effectively without annoying customers, how to appropriately use the customer’s name during the call and how to take messages professionally and accurately. This course is hosted in the Phone Skills Collaborative Online Classroom. Join at any time and work at your own pace. You will have up to six months to complete the program.